Luxury online British retailer Farfetch is reported to be planning a float on the New York Stock Exchange worth $5 billion.
The company is currently in the process of appointing bankers to work on the floatation, which is expected to take place within 18 months.
Farfetch launched in 2008 and allows hundreds of fashion labels to sell through one luxury portal and manage their back office operations more efficiently. The company has several collaborations with luxury brands including a 90-minute delivery service for Gucci items, which launched earlier this year.
The company has raised over $350 million in venture funding since its inception. Previous estimations of the company value have been around the $1.5 billion mark.
Founder and CEO, Jose Neves, said about the IPO: “We don’t have any timing, but it is the next financial milestone for the business, that’s for sure. It’s the best way for a business to get liquidity for their investors because at the end of the day if you have investors you need to find the liquidity for them, and keep the fantastic team we have.”
Farfetch currently employs more than 1,200 people in several countries and China is one of its largest markets.
The company is not yet profitable, with losses of around £28.7m reported in 2015, but it is expected to become profitable within the next few years.
If Farfetch achieves the $5 billion valuation on flotation it will be one of the most valuable tech start-ups in the UK and will have the resources available to become a serious competitor against rival Yoox Net-a-Porter Group.